Teenager Goldthorp’s dou­ble helps Leeds bring down Tigers again

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - By Ross Hep­pen­stall at the To­tally Wicked Sta­dium

Fran Goldthorp had al­ready an­nounced her­self a ris­ing star with a try in Leeds’ Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal win over Castle­ford in July, but here she claimed a de­light­ful dou­ble to de­feat the Tigers again and hand the Rhi­nos the Women’s Su­per League ti­tle.

The 16-year-old was only called into Adam Cuth­bert­son’s side ear­lier this year due to an in­jury cri­sis, but she has now made her mark in the two games that mat­tered most. Thus, Leeds, coached by men’s first-team player Cuth­bert­son, were left cel­e­brat­ing a dou­ble.

“Fran is an ab­so­lute natural tal­ent and has got that ath­leti­cism that you can’t coach,” said Cuth­bert­son.

“She took her mo­ment and re­ally shone. She’s one we’re go­ing to have to keep an eye on as a rugby league com­mu­nity be­cause she’s bril­liant at ev­ery­thing – at rugby union and a great crick­eter.”

Castle­ford soon led when winger Maisie Lumb dived over in the right cor­ner to cap a fine flow­ing move. They breached Leeds’ de­fence again soon af­ter as Rhi­an­nion Mar­shall found cen­tre Lacey Owen and she forced her way over.

Leeds got off the mark in the 13th minute when Hanna Butcher’s flat pass sent cen­tre Abby Ea­tock gal­lop­ing down the right chan­nel.

Leeds con­tin­ued to moved through the gears af­ter the break and Goldthorp scam­pered clear to score inside the left chan­nel be­fore soon claim­ing her sec­ond, although re­plays ap­peared to sug­gest she was held up by Hollie Dodd.

The Rhi­nos struck again when Elle Frain touched down, while Kelsey Gen­tles took Ge­or­gia Roche’s pass to hit back for a third Castle­ford try, but the night, and in­deed the sea­son, be­longed to Leeds.

Tigers coach Lind­say An­field ad­mit­ted: “Leeds do the ba­sics re­ally well and I have no com­plaints.” Castle­ford Tigers T Stan­ley; M Lumb, L East­wood, L Owen, K Gen­tles; G Roche, G Field; S Peach, S Hoyle, H Dodd, T Renouf, R Mar­shall. Subs S Watts, E Lumley, F Tow­nend, E Slow. Leeds Rhi­nos C Beev­ers; S Nut­tall, A Ea­tock, C Ker­ri­gan, F Goldthorp; D Anderson, T Gaines, A John­son, A Stave­ley, C Booth, P Web­ster. Subs K Ben­nett, E Frain, D Priim, E Ol­droyd.

Ref­eree Greg Dolan

Fly­ing winger: Leeds’ Fran Goldthorp, 16, goes over for her sec­ond try

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